'Glowing' sand dune erosion on the side of Mars' Kaiser Crater

While Mars is known as the red planet, a variety of colors can be found on the planet's surface. Just like on Earth, the array of colors we can see in images from Mars comes from the diverse minerals on or just under the ...

Using dunes to interpret wind on Mars

Dunes develop when wind-blown sand organizes into patterns, most often in deserts and arid or semi-arid parts of the world. Every continent on Earth has dune fields, but dunes and dune-like sand patterns are also found across ...

CERN to provide second DUNE cryostat

Neutrinos are tricky beasts. Alone among known fundamental particles, they suffer from an identity crisis—if it were possible to put them on a weighing scale, you would unpredictably measure one of three possible masses. ...

'How high above sea level am I?' asks the wrong question

The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is confronting. It finds global mean sea levels rose by about 20 centimeters between 1901 and 2018. In fact, sea levels have risen faster ...

Rising seas force dune and beach movement

Flinders University's Professor Patrick Hesp and fellow coastal scientists Christa van IJzendoorn, Sierd de Vries and Caroline Hallin from the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands have measured the vertical translation ...

NASA's Mars helicopter reveals intriguing terrain for rover team

Images snapped on July 5 by NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on its ambitious ninth flight have offered scientists and engineers working with the agency's Perseverance Mars rover an unprecedented opportunity to scout out ...

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Dune

In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind. The valley or trough between dunes is called a slack. A "dune field" is an area covered by extensive sand dunes. Large dune fields are known as ergs.

Some coastal areas have one or more sets of dunes running parallel to the shoreline directly inland from the beach. In most cases the dunes are important in protecting the land against potential ravages by storm waves from the sea. Although the most widely distributed dunes are those associated with coastal regions, the largest complexes of dunes are found inland in dry regions and associated with ancient lake or sea beds.

Dunes also form under the action of water flow (alluvial processes), and on sand or gravel beds of rivers, estuaries and the sea-bed.

The modern word "dune" came into English from French circa 1790. In ancient times, words cognate to "dune" probably had the meaning of a built-up hill or citadel fortification.

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